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DIY Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor

impee's DIY solution for Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor for BMW 318i e46
How to fix the Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor yourself!

Difficulty Level: Easy

Approximate Time For This Project: 5 mins

Prices: Professional labour costs for Airbag Passenger Occupancy Sensor replacement - £35 (private) or £165 (BMW) - per hour X 2 hours

Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor Mat Price is only £80, but labour costs are alot higher BMW 0 £80
Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor bypass module   eBay 1 £9 

*prices correct at time of publication

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Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor

The Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor (Part #11) is something that very often goes faulty. I happened to me a short while ago and I had it repaired from BMW at a total cost of £307 (£80 was for the part). Even if I were to take it to my own private mechanic, he didn't quote too much less either as it is apparently a time consuimg job. The worst thing is that 1.5 years later the same mat has become faulty again.

Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor

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Electronic parts bought from or fitted by BMW carry a 2 year warranty, so when I spoke to them, they said yes, it is covered under warranty, however there will be a £165 (1 hour labour charge) diagnosis charge to first assess what is wrong!

No way I am willing to throw away £165 every 1.5 years, so the other viable solution I found is a Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor bypass module. There are various such modules available on the market, and some apparently simply disable the air bag / suppress the fault light, and when you have an accident, the air bag will not deploy. I suppose many people use these for when they are selling their cars and want no fault lights showing.

The one I have found on eBay 'seems' t work differently, i.e. it permanently shows the passenger seat at occupied, so it will deploy even if no one is sitting there - which I don't mind, as at least it will work when the passenger is sitting.

Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor bypass Module


Please note that I am unable to tell you if it this device ever worked correctly, and I luckily I never got to test it, but I thought I would write this little article about the Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor, in case you would prefer to opt for this bypass module as opposed to paying £307!

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DIY BMW e46 Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Sensor by - impee

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